Jentezen Franklin - The Power Of Expectation
I want to talk to you about the power of expectation. There had been 400 years of silence, 400 years the Old Testament ends in the Book of Malachi, with silence. God refuses to speak, no prophets, no words from the Lord. And we move 400 years ahead and we pick the story up in the Book of Luke, where now the Bible gives us a clue to how the atmosphere that the Holy Spirit was looking for to be poured out in. And it says: "And the people were in expectation".
One translation or one Bible, I think it's the English Bible, said that: "The people were on tip toes in anticipation and expectation". It's tip toe time again. We need to understand that if God is going to do something, He looks for people who have expectation. It's tip toe time around Free Chapel. It's tip toe time in the Body of Christ. We need to expect God to pour out His Spirit. We need to start getting up on our tip toes and expect God to do the impossible again. With great anticipation, with great expectation, we're on our tip toes, saying, "Lord, what's going to happen in this service today"?
Praise in expectation. Sow in expectation. Pray in expectation. Expect miracles, expect the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, because the atmosphere that the fire and the baptism of the Holy Spirit is poured out in, is when people are in expectation. Colossians 2:14 said He blotted out the ordinance against us, He took it out of the way, and nailed it to the cross. I want to announce to you today that there is nothing between you and your miracle. He has removed it and nailed it to the cross, and you need to be on your tip toes with expectation, believing that God is ready to do something in this service today.
Expect God to pour out His Spirit, today, on your family, on you, on the people all around you. Expect pain to leave your body. Expect to be healed. Expect to receive a miracle. Expect to be delivered from alcoholism, drug addiction, fear, depression, defeat. Expect it. Psalms 119:126 said: "It is time for You to work, for they have made void Your law". In other words, when you see people just disregarding God and His Word, that's not a time to digress. That's not a time to be depressed, that's a time to get up on your tip toes in expectation. He said, "When you see people making the Word of God void and mocking it and laughing it, that's time for God to work". This is the time.
Many of you are facing giants in your life, and you've defeated the lion and you've defeated the bear, and He's going to give you this giant, and you need to get on your tip toes with expectation. Romans 8:17 said that we are the children of God and heirs, and now, because of Christ, we're joint heirs, which means we have a double claim. We have a double claim to everything in Heaven. We have a double claim to every promise in this Book, just not heirs, but joint heirs. It's mine, because Jesus says I can have it.
The power of expectation is seen in Acts 3, when the Bible said that there was a lame man who was brought to the temple, and he was laying there daily. And there's this remarkable scripture, because I've heard a lot of people preach that the miracle was dependent upon Peter and James saying, "Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have, give I unto you: in the name of Jesus". And I know the power's in the name of Jesus, but notice that didn't activate itself.
Notice that the miracle of the lame man was dependent upon Acts 3:5, when the man looked on them, the Bible said: "Expecting to receive something from them". You're looking on me, but I wonder if you're really expecting this morning to receive anything. This man said, "I don't hope, I don't think, I don't believe, I expect to receive something from that man of God". You see? There's something that the enemy is tormented by. You make Satan take Rolaids. There's one thing that will upset him more than anything else.
1 John 3:2 said: "It doth not yet appear". The Devil is not concerned with what used to be, the Devil is not concerned with what you are. He is terrorized by what you can be. It does not yet appear what you can be. I mean, this thought really hit me this week, that the Devil isn't afraid of my past, and he's really not afraid of my present, but apparently, by the way he's attacked me here lately, I just think there must be something that hasn't appeared yet, that He's going to use you and me to do, that's going to shake the Earth. Come on. And I'm on my tip toes in expectation, something is coming. Hallelujah.
"It doth not yet appear what it shall be". Your greatest miracles are not behind you. Don't look back, look ahead. I hear the Lord saying your biggest miracles are not behind you, and that's why you need to live with tip toe time, and understand that something is going to happen that you've not seen yet. God's done great things for you, but that's not all that He's got. I'm happy about it. I mean, I've seen Him do great things. I should retire now. I should just say I've had a full length. I've been used of God, but I hear the Lord saying: "Your eyes have not seen and your ears have not heard, neither has it entered into your heart the hidden things that I have prepared for you".
You've got to keep going. You've got to get on your tip toes with a spirit of expectation, that the best is still yet to come. Everybody take a praise break, if you feel your toes wiggling right now. Hallelujah. Praise God. You serve a God that is greater than your faith. Maybe your faith has peaked. You serve a God that is greater than your prayer life: "For God", the Bible said: "Is not unrighteous to forget your labor of love". For God to forget you, He would have to be unrighteous, and that is impossible. It is impossible for God to forget what He's promised you. And so, the only question is, are you expecting it? Look at your neighbor and say, "Are you expecting? Are you expecting again"? "Unto them that look for Him shall He appear".
I expect it now. I expect it this Sunday. I expect it in this service. I'm tired of normal services. I'm tired of regular services. I'm expecting something to break loose. I'm expecting somebody to get filled with the Holy Spirit. I'm expecting somebody to get healed of cancer. I'm expecting somebody to feel the joy of the Lord, break them out of the straight jacket of depression. Hallelujah. I'm expecting God to do exceedingly, abundantly above all I can ask or even dream. Yes, I am. I'm expecting to be healed, filled, helped, blessed, saved, delivered, freed. I expect a miracle.
When they set that lame man down outside that gate, and he looked on Peter and John, he saw them, and he looked on Peter and John, expecting to receive something from them. What he really was expecting was what he got every time he went to the temple, but God saw that he came, expecting to receive, and he thought he was going to get a get by blessing for the day. Just enough to keep him going, and God said, "Because you're expecting to receive, I'm going to change your life in one service". I'm saying to somebody who's addicted, this is the service that is going to change your life. I'm saying to somebody whose marriage is in serious trouble, this is the service that is going to change the rest of your life.
The Bible said in Mark 10, that there was a blind man named Bartimaeus, who had a beggar's garment. And we read over that, and we don't think anything about it, but the government issued them an official beggar's garment. It was a certain color, that anybody, any citizen, who saw a beggar on the way side, on the side of the road, begging, if they had that government cloth or covering over them, it said this is a legitimate beggar, and you can give to him, knowing he really is blind or ill. And the Bible said when he heard Jesus was passing by, he did something amazing. He took his garment, blind, he took his garment and cast it away, the scripture said.
What he was saying was, "I know I can't see yet, I know I'm not healed yet, but if Jesus is anywhere in my vicinity, I'm casting away, expecting fully that I will never go back to that life, of begging, again. Jesus is going to give me a miracle today". And immediately, he received his healing. "The people were in expectation". The next verse: "I indeed baptize you in water". But the one that's coming after me... see, listen to this, folks. Jesus is God, the Father's gift to you, of eternal life. But the Holy Spirit is Jesus' gift to you, to empower you in this life.
"And He", speaking of Jesus, "Shall baptize you", John the Baptist said, "In the Holy Ghost and fire". What does that mean? The Holy Spirit desires you. He wants to do five things. Number one, He wants to invade you. An invasion is a military term of warfare. When one army invades the territory of another army, they conquer it. It's an invasion. They're all over the place. They're coming in from the land, the sea, the air. When the Holy Spirit comes into you, it's an invasion internally. He comes in to fill every inch of you. He wants to invade your life with His presence.
Secondly, not only will He invade you, but He wants to envelop you. The word envelope is found in Ephesians 1:13, when it says, the Bible states: "We're sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise". I have here a letter, and this letter I'm putting in an envelope, and that's what it means to be enveloped by the Holy Spirit. This is you, this letter is you, and I'm putting it in the envelope. I'm sealing the envelope, because Ephesians 1 said: "You're sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise". That means dirt can't get to it. That means uncleanness can't touch it, because it's been sealed by the power of the Holy Spirit. Not only does the Holy Spirit, when He envelops you, see, He comes and He invades you internally, but He envelops you externally, and He seals you with the Holy Spirit of promise.
Then, He delivers you, because an envelope delivers the contents wherever it's supposed to go, so He wants to deliver you out of one place, and take you to another place, out of defeat and out of addiction and bondage, and into victory and joy. So He not only seals you and not only delivers you, but notice that He protects you all along the journey 'til you get to the final destination. That is what the Holy Spirit wants to do to you. The Holy Spirit says, "I will invade you, I will envelop you. I want, thirdly, to instruct you". Jesus said: "The Holy Spirit", John 14:26: "But the Helper, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things", listen to that. The Holy Spirit will teach you all things: "And bring all things to your remembrance that I have said to you".
That scripture moves me, because when I first started preaching, I said, "Lord, I don't know how to preach. I can't do that". I preached my first sermon and I preached from Philippians 3: "This one thing I do, forgetting things that are behind, reaching for", and it was pitiful. I got up and I had all kinds of notes and it lasted maybe seven or eight minutes. Everything that I knew, it was the most awkward, fearful, terrifying moments of my life up to that point. It was unbelievable. Somehow, God got in it and people were saved, and the Spirit of God moved, but it couldn't have been my preaching.
And I remember thinking, I can't do this, but the Holy Spirit began to instruct me. He began to teach me all things. He began to say, "Say it like this, and do it like this, and lift your voice like this, and get out there and obey Me". I'm feeling, when I was preaching, saying now, "Say this, get off the notes and say this", and you don't understand when a preacher's up here, preaching. If he's a Holy Ghost preacher, you don't understand the stuff going through his mind. And sometimes, I see some of you, and I could tell you things that you don't want me to tell you. I'm just telling you. He will instruct you. He's my schoolmaster.
When I went to school, I didn't know anything about algebra, but I got a teacher, and suddenly, they opened up a whole new aspect that I didn't even know existed. That's how the Holy Spirit will do with the Bible. If you'll let Him invade you and let Him envelop you, He'll begin to instruct you, and He'll begin to talk to you, and He'll bring all things to your remembrance. You get up and I get to preaching sometimes, and I don't know where it's coming from. I just put it in maybe ten years ago, and the Holy Spirit is saying, "You need this right now".
Number four, the Holy Spirit will impress you. "What do you mean by that"? One of the frequent operations of the Holy Spirit is to bring impressions upon us, of what we are to do. He'll impress you. "Pray for that person". He'll impress you. "Witness to that person". He'll impress you. They'll stand out to you. I've had it, "Give to that person. Reach in your pocket and give some money to that person". The Holy Spirit knows how. One of his chief functions is to bring impressions. "You don't need to be there, get out of here. You don't belong here". And he's impressing you, "Or join yourself to that. That's where you belong. Listen to this, this is a God moment". He's giving you impressions.
And lastly, the Holy Spirit will indwell you. He is an indwelling presence. John 4:14: "Whosoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall become a fountain of water, springing up into everlasting life". He wants to indwell your body as his temple. And so, the Holy Spirit says, "Today, I'll invade you, I'll envelop you, I'll instruct you, I'll impress you, and I will indwell inside of you. You'll never be alone again, and all I need from you, for you to receive this baptism of fire from Heaven, the promise of the Father, all I need from you is for you to get your tip toes with expectation".
That today, God can give me a prayer language. Today, God can speak through me. Today, I might've came to get a get through the day kind of blessing, but I'm going to leave with my whole life changed. This is that kind of service, for those who will expect to receive from Him. Do you believe that? So I close with this. I said, "Now, Lord, how are You going to do this today? And what do You want me to do today for the people"? And the Lord said, "I'm going to use laying on of hands".
And He took me to the story of Ananias and Paul, and how that Paul had an encounter on the road to Damascus with Jesus. He became blind for three days, because Jesus was shining such a bright light. And after he encountered Jesus and said, "Lord, what would You have me to do"? He's been saved, he's been washed. Jesus was resurrected from the dead, so the blood covered, he changed his name from Saul the Tormentor to Paul the Apostle. And he's blind, he has been blind for three days. He's saved, but he has not been filled with the Holy Spirit.
And God spoke to Ananias and said, "I have a chosen vessel called Paul, and I want you to go lay your hands on him, that he might receive his sight, and be filled with the Holy Spirit". And Ananias went and said, "Brother Paul". The reason he called him brother is he was saying, "I know you're part of the Family of God. You're saved, but something is missing. You need to be healed and filled with the Holy Spirit". And the Apostle Paul, the Bible said, received Ananias, and I love this, and when Ananias laid his hands on Paul, listen carefully. The scales, the religious scales, fell off of his eyes, because Paul had been controlled by religion. He was killing people in the name of religion. He was tormenting and torturing people, but when Ananias laid hands on him, the Bible said the scales fell off of his eyes, and he was healed, and he was filled with the Holy Spirit.
And today, what I sense in my heart, without a lot of fanfare, but if you want to be filled with the Holy Spirit, if you want the scales of religion to fall off, if you have come into this house today and you need a miracle of healing, if you need help, if you need deliverance from an addiction, this is your service. It's tip toe time for you. Get on your tip toes with expectation, and say, "Today is as good a day as any. I believe I can be healed, filled, blessed, anointed, and I'm not leaving here like I came".